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Sensitive Teeth: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Also called sensitive dentin, dentin sensitivity, dentin hypersensitivity, cervical sensitivity, cervical hypersensitivity.

How is the treatment done?

Sensitive teeth, also called dentin hypersensitivity is a very common dental condition where a sharp but short duration pain occurs in the dental region inside the teeth and gums in response to certain stimuli but not caused due to any other disease. The stimuli can be thermal, mechanical or tactile, electrical, osmotic, or due to chemicals or evaporation.

The root cause of dental hypersensitivity is exposure of the dentine layer of the teeth that lies just underneath the outer enamel coating. The dentine layer may be exposed due to receding gums, or due to the erosion of the enamel. Dentine contains millions of microscopic tubules fanning outward from the pulp. These dentinal tubules are filled with a fluid. Once exposed, the external stimuli cause changes in the flow of this fluid, and this triggers the sudden sharp pain response from the mechanoreceptors from the nerves in the pulp. Some level of sensitivity is noted even in healthy teeth, but the response is much sharper and more intense in case of hypersensitivity.

A great number of treatment options are available to treat and manage dental hypersensitivity. Even without treatment hypersensitivity response is slowly managed and muted by the body by laying down tertiary drains and thickening the dentine, but these processes take a very long time, and the condition might turn more severe if the pulp becomes involved and inflamed.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A multitude of treatment options are available for dental hypersensitivity. The most easily available are desensitizing toothpastes that are available over the counter at any pharmacy. These toothpastes help to block pain by forming a layer over the exposed ends of the dentinal microtubules. Fluoride is also used to strengthen the enamel so that it resists decay. The exposed dentin surface may also be sealed in a process similar to dental filling for cavities. Lost gum tissues may need to be replaced by taking up tissues from elsewhere in the mouth. In case other treatments are ineffective, a root canal procedure is performed, which involves a surgical removal of pulp with all its nerve endings. The procedure is usually applied to treat severe hypersensitivity problems arising from other more severe causes like inflammation of the dental pulp. Treatments may need to be combined with teeth crowns to protect them from further damage.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Dental hypersensitivity is characterized by sharp sudden pains in the teeth in response to various stimuli. Commonest of these stimuli is temperature, where the pain is triggered by cold or hot liquids coming in contact with the affected teeth. Even cold air can cause a dental hypersensitivity in some of the more severe cases. Brushing teeth may cause the pain. Sugar solutions like fruit juices, soft drinks, etc. can cause the pain to occur. Solid or liquid edibles with acidic pH coming in contact with the affected teeth can cause pain. Dental hypersensitivity may occur due to some other dental diseases, in which case the underlying cause needs to be addressed. If no other diseases are seen to be the cause of hypersensitivity, the patient is eligible for hypersensitivity treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Some dental diseases like pulp inflammation may be the cause of hypersensitivity. In this case, treatments like sealing of dentine is not advised as the pulp may turn necrotic and the damage may spread to other parts of the mouth and gums.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Some side effects are associated with treatments for sensitive teeth. For example, fluoride treatment can cause fluoride poisoning if used non-judiciously. Dental crowns placed to protect the enamel from decay may further aggravate the problem of increasing dentinal hypersensitivity.

How long does it take to recover?

Post treatment guidelines for teeth hypersensitivity include simple habits to keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy to prevent their further decay. These include regular brushing and flossing at least twice a day, rinsing out the mouth properly after every meal, having some water after having some acidic food, wearing mouth guards if grinding teeth is a regular problem, etc.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Some of the treatment options manage the condition by preventing further enamel decay and reducing dental sensitivity, and these treatments are regular treatments. Root canal surgery is performed in severe cases, and it takes about three to four weeks to recover.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Treatment costs for dental hypersensitivity vary widely from Rs. 50 going up to Rs. 10,000 or higher for surgical procedures and follow ups.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Some treatments are regular and ongoing. Results of most treatments are long lasting if proper care is taken and further decay does not occur. Results of root canal surgery are permanent since the entire pulp with nerves is removed.

Safety: Condition Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: Low Price Range:

Rs. 50 - Rs. 10,000

Popular Health Tips

Health Facts

Aastha Singhal 91% (284 ratings)
BSc - Food & Applied Nutrition, MSc - Food & Applied Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Faridabad
Health Facts
Cells are what start the healing process in our bodies, and as tooth enamel consists of 90 percent minerals, there aren t many proteins and cells there. it is said that base of the roots of our teeth we have cells that can provide a certain amount of repair, but not up in the crowns. This leaves a large section of teeth's surface area highly sensitive to the environment to what we breathe and what we eat and drink.

Sensitivity In Teeth

Dr. Isha Malhotra 94% (4350 ratings)
Dentist, Gurgaon
Sensitivity In Teeth
Is the taste of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee sometimes a painful experience for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth. Possible causes include: Tooth decay (cavities) Fractured teeth Worn fillings Gum disease Worn tooth enamel Exposed tooth root In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin. Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity. Sensitive teeth can be treated. The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments: Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced. Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations. A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity. Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity. Root canal. If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.
1 person found this helpful

Dental Health

Dr. Farah Manasawala 90% (156 ratings)
Dentist, Mumbai
Dental Health
Sensitivity of the teeth can be because of multiple reasons 1)Too hard brushing or brushing your teeth with a hard brush can wear off the proctective layer of your teeth called the enamel which can lead to sensitivity. 2)Rubbing of acidic food , baking soda etc can wear off the enamel. 3)Drinking Aerated drinks on regular basis. 4)Conditions like hard clenching or bruxism
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Nailbiting - 7 Harmful Effects of it!

Dr. K R Parameshwar Reddy 90% (14 ratings)
MDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, BDS
Dentist, Hyderabad
Nailbiting - 7 Harmful Effects of it!
Many people bite nails when they are anxious or stressed. However, knowing its harmful effects will only increase their anxiety and stress. About 30% of children, 45% of teenagers and 25% of young adults have the habit of biting their nails. Nail biting is one habit which sets in due to various reasons and just continues due to nervousness, boredom, frustration or stress. People tend to unconsciously bite their nails and over a period of time, it becomes very difficult to get rid of the habit. A good understanding of the harmful effects of biting nails, to the overall health and oral health, can be a good starting point to quitting the habit. The harmful effects of nail biting on oral health effects are listed below: Source of infection: The fingernails are more difficult to clean than the fingers and the rest of the hand. Therefore, there is a good amount of bacteria residing there, which get into your mouth and your stomach when you bite nails. The next time you wonder why your stomach is upset, take a good look at your nails. Tooth chipping: The enamel is thinnest at the tip of the front teeth. When biting nails, there is a constant pressure on this thin enamel which can chip after a certain point of time. Another way that a tooth chips is because of the pressure when biting a nail. The tooth can hit hard on the opposing tooth, leading to a fracture or chipping. Altered shape of the teeth: In many cases, the front teeth appear worn off or are squared. This is because there is always pressure on the teeth from the nails. Induce gap between the front teeth: When nail biting continues for years at a stretch, the two front teeth can develop a gap between them. Tooth sensitivity: With the enamel wearing off, the dentin is exposed and this can cause tooth sensitivity in many people. Joint problems: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) near the ears helps in opening and closing the mouth. Constant pressure on the joint due to nail biting leads to inflammation of the joint which can cause ear ache, headaches, improper closing of the jaw and clicking sounds. Delay treatment with braces: A person with braces with a nail biting habit will have very bad consequences. There is pressure from both the braces and the biting. This could also lead to the failure to correct the misaligned teeth. How to manage this habit? Identify the root cause of the habit Identify alternate ways to manage stress (exercise, yoga, hobby, etc.) A nail polish that has a bitter or offensive taste or smell Well manicured and painted nails, which you won t feel like biting Get family and friends to remind or chide you, whichever works.
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Importance of Brushing With Tooth Paste!

Dentist, Delhi
Importance of Brushing With Tooth Paste!
Brushing with toothpaste is important for several reasons. First and foremost, a toothpaste and a correct brushing action work to remove plaque, a sticky, harmful film of bacteria that grows on your teeth that cause cavities, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss if not controlled. Second, toothpaste contains fluoride, which makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage can even be seen. Third, special ingredients in toothpaste help to clean and polish the teeth and remove stains over time. Fourth, toothpaste help freshen breath and leave your mouth with a clean feeling. What type of toothpaste should I use? As long as your toothpaste contains fluoride, the brand you buy really does not matter, neither does whether or not it is in the paste, gel or even powder form or containing a certain flavor. All fluoride toothpaste work effectively to fight plaque and cavities and clean and polish tooth enamel. Your toothpaste brand should bear the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval on the container, which means that adequate evidence of safety and efficacy have been demonstrated in controlled, clinical trials. If your teeth are hypersensitive to hot or cold, consider trying a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. These "desensitizing" toothpaste, which contains strontium chloride or potassium nitrate, protect exposed dentin by blocking the tubes in the teeth that are connected to nerves. Desensitizing pastes must be used for at least one month before any therapeutic effects are felt. Toothpaste containing baking soda and/or hydrogen peroxide (which are both good cleansing agents) give the teeth and mouth a clean, fresh, pleasant feeling that can offer an incentive to brush more, but fluoride is the true active ingredient at work protecting your teeth. Some prefer a tartar-control toothpaste containing pyrophosphates to prevent the build-up of soft calculus (tartar) deposits on their teeth. New pastes offer advanced whitening formulas aimed at safely removing stains to make teeth brighter and shinier, although they can't nearly match the effectiveness of a professional bleaching formula administered or prescribed by a dentist. How much should I use? Contrary to what toothpaste commercials show, the amount of paste or gel needed on your brush for effective cleaning does not have to be a heaping amount. Simply squeeze a pea-sized dab of paste on the top half of your brush. If you brush correctly, holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside and between your teeth, the paste should foam enough to cover all of your teeth. Children under age 6, however, should be given a very small, baby pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush. Is brushing with toothpaste enough to fight cavities and gum disease? No. Although brushing thoroughly after each meal helps, flossing your teeth every day to remove plaque and food particles between teeth and at the gumline is just as important. Studies show that plaque will regrow on teeth that are completely clean within three to four hours of brushing.
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Popular Questions & Answers

Hii mam. I have yellow teeth since my childhood now my age is 36. What treatment should I adopt to get rid of yellow teeth. Moreover I have sensitive teeth. For that I am using sensodine. Kindly tell me what should I do?

Dr. Sumit Munjal Munjal 86% (26 ratings)
Dentist, Delhi
Hi, Using sensodine would make the teeth more yellower. Change to non medicated toothpaste. For sensitivity consult a dentist.

My teeth have become sensitive. Dentist recommended to consult ENT. Consulted but of no avail. Symptom continue. What to do?

Dr. Abhinav Shrivastava 92% (43 ratings)
MDS - Orthodontics, BDS
Dentist, Jabalpur
Try a desensitizing paste as sensitivity occurs with ageing due to attrition of teeth. Also your teeth might need rct if the pulp is exposed. Consult your dentist. No need of ent specialist in sensitivity.

Doctor. Is sensodine a better alternative to whitospark. For use after detaining the teeth?

Dr. Jayvirsinh Chauhan 97% (7857 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
No don't use sensodyne... It is just advertisement scam.. Better take proper Homoeopathic treatment...

Sir, I had left side down stream teeth, second from last, had a big cavity, due to this I can't take food properly from that side, any tips for prevent sensitive problem.

BDS, MDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Advanced course in maxillofacial sugery
Dentist, Lucknow
Consult a dentist get filling done by a dentist than brush twice daily especially at night you may require rct and cap.

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